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Morning Sickness - Signs and Symptoms
Morning sickness is basically the Nausea Experienced by Women During Pregnancy
What is Morning Sickness?
All of us know that pregnant women experience morning sickness. Is it that the sickness is experienced only during the morning hours? No. That is a misconception.
Morning sickness is basically the nausea experienced by women during pregnancy. It can occur during anytime of the day and it is very common during the first three months of pregnancy.
Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Morning Sickness?
- The most important signs and symptoms are nausea and vomiting. Some women may be nauseated all the time. Some get severely nauseated at the smell of certain food items. For example when I was pregnant with my elder daughter I was severely nauseated at the smell of oil being heated. I tried changing oil for cooking. But that didn’t help. I had to be out of the kitchen for a minimum of three months during those days.
- Excessive salivation also could be there just before vomiting.
- Because of nausea and vomiting, the food intake of most women will be suffered and that can lead to weakness and tiredness.
- Because of excessive fatigue, women may experience mood changes, irritability and decreased level of concentration.
Morning Sickness education and tips (part 1)
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What are the Causes and Risk Factors for Morning Sickness?
- The exact cause for the development of morning sickness in pregnant women is not clear. It is thought to be due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. But it is observed that although all women have these bodily changes of pregnancy everyone do not develop morning sickness.
- It is found to be higher in women, who have experienced morning sickness during previous pregnancy.
- Motion sickness is the nausea and vomiting developed while travelling in vehicle. The pregnant woman is more likely to develop morning sickness if she has previous history of motion sickness.
- Migraine is also very common among women. It is a severe kind of head ache which may last for days. Photophobia is associated with migraine. Women with history of migraine have more chance for developing morning sickness during pregnancy.
Other risk factors for the development of morning sickness include pregnancy with twins or multiples, intolerance to increased estrogen levels as in consumption of oral contraceptives.
How to Manage Morning Sickness?
As discussed earlier, for most women morning sickness is relieved by itself as the pregnancy advances and do not require any specific treatment.
What are the Dietary Modifications required for managing Morning Sickness?
Usually morning times are the worst timings for women suffering from morning sickness although the sickness can be there for most part of the day.
- Women feel better if they take dry food items like crackers, puffed rice etc. at the height of nausea. Watery food items will increase the nauseated feeling.
- Eating small frequent portions might help in controlling nausea. If you include high protein containing food items nutritional imbalance can be prevented.
- Bland food items are better than spicy food items.
- Carbonated beverages are helpful in reducing the nausea.
Food items which cannot be tolerated by the women during the episode of nausea and vomiting may be tolerated a little while later. Identify the items with unpleasant smell and taste and avoid them when you are nauseated
Pregnant woman’s food intake must contribute to her own health and growth of the fetus. Good nutrition during pregnancy is essential to prepare the woman for lactation. Ensure proper nutrition during pregnancy even if the woman has morning sickness
Morning Sickness education and tips (part 2)
For most women morning sickness goes away as the pregnancy advances and they do not require any special treatment to reduce these symptoms. But that is not the case for all. For some it may become serious and they may develop complications related to morning sickness. Passing small amount of urine or dark coloured urine, felling extremely weak and dizzy, rapid heart rate and vomiting blood should not be taken lightly.
If such signs and symptoms develop, you must see a doctor. If the woman attends regular clinical check-ups as planned by her doctor, these problems are hard to miss and timely interventions will be taken.